Darryn Binder at Catalunya: “The main problem was temperature”
Things started well during Friday practice in Catalunya when his Red Bull Ajo KTM Moto3 machine set off with the same setup they had gathered during the test here a month before. For this year, the circuit returns to a closer version to the original after barriers were moved back and the track was resurfaced, however the morning session was tricky with many riders going down.
“We didn’t have the same feeling in FP1 as we did during the test we had here, and I found it hard to feel comfortable on the bike. I had the feeling that there was little grip; many riders crashed during the session.”
However, the afternoon session was much improved, with Binder finishing in seventh.
In contrast, in FP2 I pushed right from the beginning and I felt good. Each time we went into the pits we made some adjustments to the bike that allowed me to go faster and faster; in the end we were two tenths off, which is very close to the fastest rider. I had more confidence and the temperature rose. If we can improve the stability of the bike on corner entry tomorrow, I think we can further reduce the gap to the top.”
It was not to be, however. In the afternoon qualifying, the track temperature soared to 45º which meant that all the setup they had done previously didn’t work, and Binder found himself in a familiar 20th place.
“In qualifying the main problem was the temperature, since it was much hotter than yesterday in FP2. This morning in FP3 we tried something that wasn’t bad, but it didn’t work as well as what we had tried yesterday. That meant that in qualifying we reverted to our Friday setup, and I got my good feeling back. Unfortunately the temperature made it very hard to match yesterday’s times. If we look at the standings for the sessions, many of us who were high up yesterday struggled more today. Tomorrow the race will be at 11:00am, so it should be a little colder and I trust that we will go well. We will start from 20th position, but I’m sure we can do a good job and make a comeback like at Mugello. The times are very similar and I imagine that during the opening laps a group will form at the front. We will try to be in there, because I think the group might break up sooner than at Mugello.”
Results (Qualifying session)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:48.806
2. Jorge Martin (Honda) +0.107
3. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) +0.251
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Honda) +0.253
5. Aron Canet (Honda) +0.309
20. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.091